I'll take her!
It has been a rough year for me on the archery hunting front. It was a struggle to even see some deer on most of my outings until that magical time begins around Halloween and my annual hunting vacation kicks off. I had high hopes that sightings would pick up and they did for sure. I was seeing deer, and seeing some big shooter deer, but getting them in range was a different story. I called in quite a few young bucks but the older guys would have none of the calling and I had to just watch them walk off in search of does. The first week came and went with no arrows sent on their way.
The second week started off cold and clear which found me in my favorite stand. Single does and motherless fawns were wandering around which is always a good sign that things are heating up. I wish the day had a better outcome but I missed what would have been my biggest buck ever at 23 yards and managed to miss a doe at 30 yards within an hour of each other. The miss on the buck was my fault. The doe ducked my arrow. Tuesday was a washout but I sat in the stand all day and replayed my missed shot on Mr Big 1000s of times. It was a slow trickle of activity for the rest of the second week for me.
I entered the last day of the season with high hopes but low expectations. Today found me perched on a finger that comes down off of a ridge into a valley. The morning began slow till I spied 3 does feeding their way to me. One was a fawn and the other two were mature. I figured out which one did not have the fawn and focused my attention on her. Once they crossed my path walking in, my doe went on high alert. 4 times I raised my crossbow and 3 times I had to let it down painstakingly slow. Amazingly, none of them caught my movement as they crept the last 20 yards I needed over the course of 30 minutes. When the barren doe reached my 40 yard mark, I let it go and the hit was good. Again, the swiftness of the kill from a well placed arrow always amazes me. I heard her crash in short order.
There was no flagging tape necessary on this tracking job. This is not a sapling.
The Black Eagle Executioner tipped with the new 3 Blade Swhacker did its job coming from Horton's new Legend Ultra Lite.
The rest of the day yielded 6 buck sighting after I tagged her and dressed her out. I held out hope that a shooter would make it a double for the day but it was not meant to be this year. As I was dragging her out at dusk, I thanked the powers to be for the opportunity to take one of their creatures. Although no archery buck for me this year, it was a safe and enjoyable season for sure.
From Halloween day till today I logged 106 hours on stand. I saw 23 bucks. Passed on 4 legal bucks and saw 4 shooter bucks. One of which I missed. I am tired, sad that it is over, but also ready to take a rest and recharge for firearms season.
Thanks for looking.